Guest post: “Making Music, Literally” – by Joe Giordano

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Sunday 01 December, 2013 by Uncle Spike

For a change, we are gonna learn something today, or I am at least 🙂

In this post, Uncle Spike’s special Guest Writer is Joe Giordano, a talented photo blogger that I follow, along with over 330 others.

Now, rather than ask a photo blogger to write us a story, I asked Joe to let us have a ‘photographic’ peek into a day in his life – and this is his post for us…

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“Ever Wondered How A Guitar Is Made?”

Photography has been a lifelong hobby for me but if I was able to really make a dream come true I would have been a musician. Anyone familiar with my blog, The Visual Chronicle, knows that I constantly have an earworm (a song playing in my head) that I use so people can relate to what I was thinking when I took the photo. In my early years I tried my best with my Martin D28 to play like the pros but that never materialized. Once in a while I might be persuaded to butcher a version of someones masterpiece of a tune at a party but that would have required a huge beer bill or some wacky tobacco on the requesters part. Even though I sucked at playing guitar I still to this day have a fondness for that beautiful Martin D28 I once owned. I’m still kicking myself for selling that guitar in the late 1970’s especially the way these instruments have appreciated in value over the years.

Although this is not my usual photographic style I thought I might try something different by documenting a trip that my wife and I had made to Nazereth, Pennsylvania and see just how these beauties are made.

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Martin1

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Behind this facade old world craftsmanship in still very much alive and doing very well. In this age we live in instant gratification has become the normal. If you have ever picked up or owned a Martin guitar you know these instruments are not produced at a breakneck pace.

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Martin2

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In the above photo a worker is in the first stage of installing frets in the rosewood fingerboards.

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Martin3

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Next the frets are finish filed and the fingerboard is glued to the neck. This is a critical step because any height variations will cause the strings to buzz while playing the guitar.

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Martin4

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Next the wood for the body of the guitar is heated so it can be bent around one of the forms under the workbench.

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Martin5

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Each neck brace has a serial number to match the body it will be glued into.

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Martin6

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The neck brace is then glued into the correct body as per serial number.

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Martin7

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Perimeter blocking is then installed to support the the soundboard and back of the guitar. No wonder we have a hard time finding wooden cloths pins, Martin has them all, LOL.

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Martin8

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Next the soundboard gets hand planed and chiseled to fit.

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Martin9

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Once the soundboard and back are glued to the body the perimeter trim can be installed. This is a painstaking process and it’s all done by hand.

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Martin10

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The next step is the hand fitting of the neck to the body of the guitar, still no machines.

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Martin11

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After the neck is fitted and installed any options that were ordered such as an electric pickup are then installed.

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Martin12

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After the guitars are stained and lacquered is off to the robotic buffing machines. These are the first machines used that require no human interaction other than initial programming. Notice the reflection of my chubbsie ubbsie body in the glass.

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Martin13

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After the machines computer buff the guitars the final buffing is always done by hand so any imperfections in the finish can be corrected.

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Martin14

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Before the guitars are packed for shipping each and every one is played and these guys can really pick !

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Martin15

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Then it’s off to your favorite musician. Some of the finest guitar players worldwide choose Martin because it’s really all about the sound.

I hope you have enjoyed my post and I would like to thank Uncle Spike for having me as a guest. I hope to hear from you on my blog.

written by: Joe Giordano

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My name is Joe Giordano and I retired in April of 2013. I was lucky to have enough company time in with my day job so that when the downsizing wind blew through I was able to accept a generous company buyout plan. This opened up a whole new world for me as a photo blogger and I am enjoying every minute being part of the awesome WordPress Community. My blog is called The Visual Chronicle for anyone interested in checking it out.

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22 thoughts on “Guest post: “Making Music, Literally” – by Joe Giordano

  1. Jill says:

    Once again, Joe, I love the storytelling you do through your photos!

    Like

  2. So amazing! It’s nice to see home made things in ACTION!

    Like

  3. […] “Making Music, Literally” – by Joe Giordano […]

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I always wondered about how guitars were made.Thank you for sharing this!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great post! I’m glad that Joe led me to your blog. He’s a great photographer!

    Like

  6. LB says:

    How fun it is to see a post by a blogger I’ve followed for a year or more … and to find it on a blogger I’ve just started following 🙂

    Like

  7. Joe says:

    Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share a post about a day I enjoyed very much Spike 😀

    Like

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